A selection of books, available at the library, to help families explore the holidays:
"How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?" by Jane Yolen: Rhyming text explains how a well-behaved dinosaur can celebrate the eight days and nights of Chanukah. Ages 3 - 7
"The Eight Nights of Chanukah" by Leslea Newman: The wondrous days of Chanukah come to life through the eyes of a young child, whose family gathering grows bigger and bigger as the holiday progresses. Ages 5 - 7
"Chanukah in Chelm" by David A. Adler: When the rabbi tells Mendel to get a table for the Chanukah menorah, Mendel makes the task more difficult than it should be. Ages 5 - 10
"A Confused Hanukkah An Original Story of Chelm" by Jon Koons: The villagers of Chelm, in the rabbi's absence, send a messenger to a nearby village in order to be reminded how to prepare for the coming Hanukkah. Ages 5 up
"Runaway Dreidel!" by Leslea Newman: In this rhyming tale in the style of "The Night before Christmas," a family's preparations for Chanukah are disrupted by a wildly spinning dreidel. Ages 4 - 8
"Inside-out Grandma" by Joan Rothenberg: Rosie's grandmother wears her clothes inside out to remind herself to buy oil for making latkes at Hanukkah. Includes a recipe for potato latkes. Ages 5 - 8
"In the Month of Kislev A Story for Hanukkah" by Nina Jaffe: A rich, arrogant merchant takes the family of a poor peddler to court and learns a lesson about the meaning of Hanukkah. Ages 5 - 7
"Latkes and Applesauce A Hanukkah Story" by Fran Manushkin: When a blizzard leaves a family housebound one Hanukkah, they share what little food they have with some starving animals who later return the favor. Ages 6 - 8
"Just Enough Is Plenty A Hanukkah Tale" by Barbara Diamond Goldin: With Hanukkah about to begin, Rivkeh is worried because her family is so poor, but when a poor stranger comes to the door, her generous family cannot turn him away. Ages 3 - 8
"Zigazak! A Magical Hanukkah Night" by Eric A. Kimmel: Two evil spirits wreak havoc on the town of Brisk's Hanukkah celebration, until the town's wise rabbi puts a stop to their mischief. Ages 4 - 8
History and Meaning of the Holiday
"Four Sides, Eight Nights A New Spin on Hanukkah" by Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Hanukkah holiday, centered of the children's game of dreidel (a spinning top). Jokes, history, customs, trivia, and science facts. (Just how fast does a dreidel spin?)
"It's A Miracle! A Hanukkah Storybook" by Stephanie Spinner: Every night of Hanukkah Grandma tells a story at bedtime. Includes the Hanukkah legend. Ages 4 - 8
"The Story of Hanukkah" by Amy Ehrlich: Retells the Biblical story that is celebrated in the feast of Hanukkah. Ages 7 - 8
"Celebrating Hanukkah" by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith: Presents the history, traditions, and significance of Hanukkah as it is celebrated by a Jewish family in San Francisco. Ages 8 - 12
"A Great Miracle Happened There A Chanukah Story" by Karla Kuskin: On the first night of Hanukkah, a mother tells her family and a young guest the story of the holiday's origin. Ages 4 - 8
Family Read-Aloud Collections
"While the Candles Burn Eight Stories for Hanukkah" by Barbara Diamond Goldin: A collection of eight stories illuminating the meaning and the miracles of Hanukkah.
"The Spotted Pony A Collection of Hanukkah Stories" by Eric A. Kimmel: A joyous collection of Jewish Folktales. Eight stories, with a "shammes" story for each, to be read on the eight nights of Hanukkah.
"The Stone Lamp Eight Stories of Hanukkah through History" by Karen Hesse: A collection of eight poems, each taking place on a different night of Hanukkah and following the history of Jews from twelfth-century England to twentieth-century Israel. Ages 7 - 11
"Eight Lights for Eight Nights A Hanukkah Story and Activity Book" by Debbie Herman: Here is a beautifully illustrated book to help inspire Jewish children in celebration of Hanukkah while also telling boys and girls of all faiths the story and traditions of this festive holiday. Includes instructions for fun, innovative crafts. Ages 6-9
"Crafts for Hanukkah" by Kathy Ross: Even young children can make the easy projects in these books, using materials that are readily available. Colorful step-by-step illustrations accompany each craft.
"Hanukkah!" by Roni Schotter: Describes the meaning and traditions of Hanukkah as a happy family celebrate the holiday. Ages 3 - 7
"The Chanukkah Guest" by Eric A. Kimmel: On the first night of Chanukkah, Old Bear wanders into Bubba Brayna's house and receives a delicious helping of potato latkes when she mistakes him for the rabbi. Ages 5-8
Catherine Sarette is the children's services coordinator at the Whatcom County Library System.